Cape Town is not only a hive of activity on the business front, but the Mother City also features a great number of fun festivals and events in February and March

The annual State of the Nation address, the opening of Parliament, the Mining Indaba and the Africa Tech Week: Cape Town tends to get rather busy towards the end of the first quarter.

“We generally advise customers to plan as far in advance as possible when travelling to Cape Town in February and March. Flights and accommodation in the CBD will be at a premium as a result of the Mining Indaba, the Opening of Parliament and the popular Jazz Festival,” says Andrew Grunewald, Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) Brand leader.

If you’re travelling for business, or for those planning to attend any of Cape Town's favourite events in the late summer season, Grunewald shares the following tips.

Book well in advance

For companies to maximise their travel programmes and keep within travel budgets, plan as much as possible in advance. By simply booking in advance, you can save 21% of your travel spend says Grunewald. “Book your flights at least 14 days before departure, as Cape Town tends to get very expensive closer to the time. To achieve the greatest savings, it’s a good idea to partner with a Travel Management Company. For an event such as the Mining Indaba for example, FCBT has dedicated allocations as well as various special offers in place.”

Low-cost is not always cheapest

Don’t assume that low-cost carriers will offer the cheapest airfare. Grunewald says it’s worth considering legacy carriers such as South African Airways and British Airways, which often prove more economical.

Pack smart

If you are heading to Cape Town for a one-night stay or a quick meeting, consider packing a suitcase that fits into an aircraft's overhead luggage compartment. By packing only hand luggage, you can avoid delays waiting for baggage.

Make wise choices for accommodation and ground transport

“Try to stay outside the CBD area and rather take advantage of affordable car hire offers or Uber to get you to and from your meetings,” says Grunewald.

For companies with budgetary restraints, Grunewald adds that partnering with a Travel Management Company such as Flight Centre Business Travel can help to minimise costs.

“The combination of FCBT’s global negotiating strength, integrated systems, multiple product platforms and strong supplier relationships, mean clients receive the best itineraries and savings on every journey,” he explains.

“Another benefit is that travel arrangements are taken care of, from start to finish. We book clients’ airfares, airport transfers and accommodation, as well as any extensions clients want to add, be it a few additional leisure days or time for meetings.”

Spice up your business trip with a few fun events

Cape Town is not only a hive of activity on the business front, but the Mother City also features a great number of fun festivals and events in February and March.

Wine-lovers will enjoy the flurry of wine festivals in the Cape region. Franschhoek, Constantia and Stellenbosch all host popular ‘summer wines’ festivals where visitors can enjoy some of the region’s finest wines while enjoying some laid-back music and live entertainment.

Held at the end of March, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a not-to-be-missed event. The annual music festival has been recognised as the fourth largest jazz festival in the world and the largest jazz festival on the African continent.

Cape Town is definitely a hive of activity in the first quarter of the year, which can have a significant impact on a company’s travel spend and flight availability. However, with the right advice and the right partners at your side, it is possible to seamlessly navigate the Mother City during these busy months.